Deciding to move in with your partner is a huge relationship milestone. You’ve gone through the honeymoon period, and things are starting to get serious. But before you can start choosing your preferred flavor of wedding cake, getting quotes for mortgage applications, and browsing fertility centers with the top IVF success rates, you need to know you can successfully cohabit as a couple.
Living in the same place together for an extended period of time will either make or break a couple. In most cases, you will love being together all the time and enjoying your privacy and independence. Yet in some cases, couples may find their differences and irritating habits can prove too much for the relationship to bear.
If you are serious about moving in with your significant other, here is some advice to make it work.
Talk about your finances
One area of relationships that leads to the most disagreement is finances. Now that you’ll be living together, money will play a more significant role in your relationship than you would like. You will have to pay rent and bills as well as buy furniture, groceries, and other household necessities. And you will have to split the costs so that neither of you feels hard done by. Talk to each other in advance about how you will balance your financial responsibilities. Are you going to split everything equally, or will whoever earns more pay a larger proportion of your outgoings? There is no right or wrong solution, as long as each of you is happy with the outcome. You may wish to consider opening a joint bank account to make shared payments easier but be warned that overspending by either party will lead to more arguments.
Divide household responsibilities
In any cohabiting relationship, there is usually one party who feels they are doing most of the chores. To make your relationship work, you both have to put the effort in. This means taking turns to cook dinner, clean the apartment, and do the shopping. Some couples prefer to have a rigid framework in place detailing who does what, while others prefer to be less strict. Find a system that works for you.
Plan quality time together
Before you live together, seeing each other is an occasion to look forward to. You dress up for date night or plan a nice evening with a home-cooked meal and a bottle of wine. But when you live together, you start to get used to having each other around. If you’re not careful, you could begin to take your partner for granted. Make sure you regularly inject some romance into your lives by scheduling date nights or other special occasions where you look your best and make time to show your partner how much they mean to you.
Maintain your own distinct identity
When you move in as a couple, it’s easy for your relationship to take precedence over your individual social lives and hobbies. But it’s important you each make time for yourselves and spend some quality time apart every now and then. Catching up with your own friends or taking part in your favorite hobby is a great way to ensure you don’t lose sense of who you are.
Moving in together may be a scary step, but if you do it right, it will improve your relationship and quality of life. By taking your own and each other’s needs into account when moving in, you can ensure that you and your partner begin the next stage in your relationship as happily as possible.